Washington D.C., Aug 25, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference (USCCB) has announced that a Vatican delegation will begin an Apostolic Visitation of U.S. seminaries and houses of formation around the country, seeking to ensure proper training of high-caliber candidates for priestly and religious life.
The Holy Sees’ Congregation for Catholic Education, along with the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life is organizing the effort, which will assess some 229 schools of theology, college-level seminaries, houses of formation, and academic institutions that form future priests.
Archbishop of Military Services, Edwin O’Brien, who is heading the visitation process, said he is “confident that this Apostolic Visitation will assist us in promoting the highest standards of formation necessary to bring forth qualified men for priestly ordination.”
The USCCB noted that the two-fold objective for the visits will be to, first, “examine the criteria for admission of candidates and the programs of human formation and spiritual formation aimed at ensuring that they can faithfully live chastely for the Kingdom;” and second, “to examine other aspects of priestly formation in the United States.”